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5 Swaps to Make your Baked Goods Healthier

Update Date: Nov 27, 2014 01:27 PM EST

Baked goods, such as cakes, cookies and pies are a necessity in most people's lives. However, as delicious as they might be, they can quickly lead to weight gain as well as diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Instead of cutting out baked goods from your diet completely, here are five ingredients to swap.

1. Use avocado instead of butter

Butter is the base of many baked goods because it adds great texture. However, butter also comes with fat and calories. To make your baked goods healthier, try swapping butter for avocado. Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats, which are good for the heart. Replace each tablespoon of butter with half a tablespoon of avocado.

2. Use bean flour instead of wheat

Although wheat flour might be a healthier alternative to white flour, there is another option that is even better for you: bean flour. Bean flour contains fiber, protein and nutrients, and has a nutty flavor, which would be great for muffins. It is also gluten-free.

3. Use coconut oil instead of shortening

Coconut oil is a great alternative to shortening because they have the same texture at room temperature. Unlike shortening, coconut oil is more natural and has healthier fats.

4. Use pureed fruit instead of sugar

To avoid too much added sugar in your baked goods, use pureed fruit. Pureed fruit is naturally sweet, making it a healthier option. It can also add moisture and texture to your cakes and brownies.

5. Use dark chocolate instead of milk

If you plan on making baked goods with chocolate, such as chocolate chip cookies, swap milk chocolate morsels for dark chocolate chunks. Dark chocolate has antioxidants that can help boost your immune system. Dark chocolate has also been tied to combating inflammation and obesity.

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